One often overlooked aspect of the divorce process is who pays for our child’s health care. This is something that most people don’t think about until they already need to use it, but is an important issue. Most likely, the judge presiding over your case will require all minor children to carry some form of health insurance. In fact, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) every minor must have some sort of health insurance. This can either be through a state run Medicare program or through one of the parents’ company sponsored plans. This is known as “child welfare” and is usually a non-negotiable item. In certain circumstances, the state will appoint an attorney to participate as a third party to ensure these needs are met by the final plan. Since insurance is an additional expense for one spouse it technically counts as a form of child support and will count towards the overall monthly child support stipend and can change throughout the year. If neither parent has access to an employer sponsored plan, your children may be eligible for a state-run Medicare program. These plans generally have little to no monthly cost and any costs that do occur would be split between the parents. Health insurance can make up a large part of your monthly expenses. Make sure you work with your lawyer on an ongoing basis to ensure you are paying your fair share each month.
People who’ve had large and unforeseen expenses arise can tell you how important having an emergency fund is. Having a cushion for those unexpected expenses such as medical expenses, home or car repairs can go a long way in helping you avoid new debt. These are especially important to people with low income or those living paycheck to paycheck. An emergency fund is essentially money that you have put aside to cover those unexpected expenses. Think of it as an insurance policy , rather than paying premiums to an insurance company, you’re setting aside money for yourself that can be used later. No matter what your income level is, make an effort to build an emergency account of at least $500-$1,000 in a savings account for those emergency situations.